A rain soaked Hands Oval greeted both teams in the round nineteen League fixture between South Bunbury and Donnybrook, with both teams having plenty of incentive to take the four points.
With surface water and mud adorning parts of the oval, the match was never going to be a high scoring or pretty affair, it was more likely to be uncompromising, tough and with plenty of players around the ball. And that is how it panned out, with Chris Atthowe feeling the wrath of the umpires at the three minute mark and was sent from the ground with a yellow card, handing Ben Howlett a goal from the goal line to open the scoring.
A freak goal from Guy Piggott a few minutes later equaled the scores as Piggott some how found the major opening, snapping from the behind line. Brad Swarbrick would take a very good contested mark in the goal square at the eleven minute mark to put the Dons back in front, and that would be the final goal of the quarter, as the ball skidded, propped and plugged in the mud for the final fourteen minutes of the opening quarter.
An early goal to the Tigers put them in front, which would be followed by some relatively easy misses in normal conditions, as both teams went to half time with two goals each. The tough contest also saw Tigers Captain Kevin Chitty yellow carded, as both teams tried to handle the water-logged football.
The third quarter was a replica of the second, with the home team taking a nine point lead into the final change, and would kick three goals to one in the final quarter, with Jordan Strahans goal deep in the pocket at the 13 minute mark, giving the home team a very handy buffer, followed a minute later by a goal to Jace Cormack to seal victory.
Cole Sawyer playing his 50th game, again figured in the best players, while Martin Thompson and Craig Hutcheson also played well. Nathan McCosker and Jacob Kendle played good games for the Dons, who fell short by four goals in very trying conditions.
In a nice touch, both teams came together as veteran Don, Shane Cristaldi playing his 250th game was chair off the ground.
South Bunbury 1.1.7 2.5.17 4.7.31 7.11.53
Donnybrook 2.1.13 2.3.15 3.4.22 4.5.29
Goals: South Bunbury – Rocco Versace 2, Shaun Crane 1, Guy Piggott 1, Jace Cormack 1, Ethan Nordahl 1, Jordan Strahan 1. Donnybrook – Rory Beeson 1, Ben Howlett 1, Sean Lynch 1, Bradley Swarbrick 1.
Best: South Bunbury – Cole Sawyer, Martin Thompson, Craig Hutcheson, Jay Crossman, Rocco Versace. Donnybrook – Nathan McCosker, Jacob Kendle, Jake Anderson, Ben Howlett, Bradman May, Sean Lynch
Ground: Hands Oval
Umpires: Braden Surrall, Cameron Valenti